My mom

— Hello. You have been chosen at random for a quick poll. It will just take a minute.

— Do you currently have a position on the merits of full-time employment?

— Yes, yes, most people concur. Would your position change, however, if you were to read the significant number of studies that have documented the hazards of full-time work on one’s physical and mental health?

— Yes, ma’am, that would definitely include one’s desire and ability to produce grandchildren.

— And would it also affect your views were you to learn that many bosses these days routinely and unfairly pick favorites at work?

— Actually, no, your son would not be one of them.

— And, finally, would hearing that your son was in fact recently “promoted” to a “freelance position” negatively or positively affect your views on whether he is, as you put it, “amounting to anything”?

— I see.

— Well, have you checked in with his sister recently? Seriously, her life’s a mess.

The lady at Chase Visa

— Are you or are you not aware that Mr. Dyckman recently spent $150 on a four-disc soft-rock compilation? Yes, that’s right, the one featured in that infomercial with Air Supply.

— Now, would you be more or less likely to omit that charge from Mr. Dyckman’s monthly statement if you knew that Mr. Dyckman did not in fact mean to order that item?

— Well, how would your opinion change if you were to learn that he isn’t even a fan of Air Supply?

— Oh, really? And how would your adherence to this “Visa policy” change if you found out that Mr. Dyckman was drunk at the time?

— No, I mean really drunk.

— Uh-huh. Oh, yeah, like you’re some perfect saint.

My boss

— Good afternoon, sir. If I could have just a few moments of your precious time.

— If you were to discover the identity of the “total douche” who parked in your spot last week, would you be more or less likely to let it slide?

— Noted. Now, would those feelings change if you were to learn that this individual would never have parked in your spot had all the handicapped spaces not been occupied?

— Well, not that I think it matters, but let’s say no, this person is not technically handicapped.

— I see. Just one more thing. Would you be more or less likely to forget about such a minor transgression were you to hear that Stevenson in accounting is banging your wife?

— Look, I’m just saying that’s what the word on the street is.

My date

— Hello. You have been selected at random to answer a few questions. I understand that on Friday night you have a date with that cute guy who works down the hall?

— Ma’am, please, of course this is random.

— Would you say that you would be more or less likely to sleep with Jay Dyckman if you knew that he once saved a sack of drowning kittens?

— Uncertain. OK. Well, then, would your answer change if you learned that this act of heroism occurred while he was driving a bus of underprivileged children to a concert?

— Uh … a GWAR concert?

— Whoops. Pardon my mistake. I see now the survey clearly reads that it was in fact a Miley Cyrus concert.

— Excellent. Now, would your excitement to sleep with Jay Dyckman change if you were to overhear a vicious rumor, possibly from someone’s bitter ex-roommate, that the underprivileged children could more accurately be described as exotic dancers?

— And the kittens a bag of pot?

— Oh. Yes, well, of course. And just one last question. Do you have any idea how your totally hot blond friend feels about rescued exotic dancers … Hello?